06 Mar 4 Ways to Encourage Your Kids To Help Out Around The House
When your children are babies and toddlers, it comes with the territory that you take on a LOT of cleaning work. It’s truly amazing the amount of mess a small human can put out, but of course, we do it all out of love. Once children are older, however, there is no reason to continue running around after them, cleaning their messes. It’s important, both for your sanity and your child’s development, that you encourage them to help out where they can and take responsibility for cleaning their own messes. Start small, and then work your way up as children become more able to take on new jobs. It’s important to have a decent reward system in place while they get used to their new responsibilities, so whether it’s trophies at the end of the month, a sticker chart or a bit of pocket money, make sure you help them realise that hard work pays off. Here are four ways you can encourage the kids to start helping out…
The younger your children are when you start encouraging responsibility, the easier it will be as they get older. Once children are between two and three years of age, they should be encouraged to put away toys they’ve been playing with. You can instigate this by turning it into a game, for example, playing music for a short period of time and seeing who can pack the most things away while the music’s playing.
Lead By Example
Show your kids that mum and dad also have jobs they need to complete around the house. Go through an average day with them and talk them through all of the responsibilities their parents have ie working, cleaning, cooking etc. By showing them that taking responsibility is something that everyone has to do, you’re helping them identify it as a ‘grown up’ quality, and one they will want to emulate.
Asking kids to ‘help out more’ will often yield poor results. A child, by nature, rarely understands the complexities of running a household, or even the fact that a house needs to be clean. By being specific about the kinds of jobs they have to do, and the frequency with which they have to do them, you’ll make it a lot easier for them to step up to the challenge.
Reward Good Work
As we mentioned earlier, a reward system is key. Some families choose to put a sticker or star chart up on the wall, and children need to accumulate a certain number of stars in order to receive a prize. This technique works well because children can keep track of their progress and are encouraged to keep it up. The reward they receive at the end can be anything–from a trip to an amusement park, a sports trophy with their name engraved (something like ‘world’s best house cleaner’ is always fun) or some pocket money. The key is to make the reward ongoing so that the cleaning becomes a habit, rather than a one-time thing.